Performing on the Melbourne Town Hall’s historic organ, Chadwick reveals many devastating truths across the record’s 11 songs, confronting trauma, loneliness and the crippling weight of life within her typically raw lyrics. While this doesn’t make for particularly easy listening, it is comforting to feel understood by Chadwick, with tracks like Hurtle Through It and Next in Line tapping into what it means to be alive.
Chadwick possesses a remarkable strength as a human and songwriter and her music is ultimately a testament to her survival.
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Published May 11, 2018 by Zoë Radas
Sarah Mary Chadwick’s vocal delivery is one of the most convincing you’re ever going to hear – there’s almost no distance between her self and her singing voice, and her spare (but not thin) arrangements mean you feel every little papercut her heart-twisting voice inflicts.
The pianist-singer-songwriter says she’d written around 40 songs from which to assemble new 12-track LP Sugar Still Melts in the Rain, but she’s unlikely to save the scraps for later. “Ninety-nine percent of the time I wouldn’t use songs from a previous [era of writing for a new album] because they’ll probably be about different things, that I’ll hopefully at least have processed,” she laughs, “to where I’m kind of a better person!”
She may, she says, use some material for an upcoming project/performance on the 90-year-old pipe organ at Melbourne Town Hall, but Sugar Still Melts in the Rain is (like her previous three albums) a project about the emotional now.
Opener Flow Over Me, single Sugar Still Melts In The Rain and the wonderful Bauble on a Chain are all stand-outs, but closer Felt My Heart is next level. “I use pretty obvious chord progressions, so maybe I’m a little bit into the practice of having to work a bit harder to make the melodies more interesting,” she says of the track’s absolutely beautiful, repeated, dropped vocal interval (during the line “I felt my heart fly like a dart, through the dark”). “That was super annoying to sing! There was a point where I was like, ‘This song sucks, why am I even bothering?’” she laughs. “But I’m glad it worked out.”
Sugar Still Melts in the Rain is out now via Rice Is Nice.